US STOCKS-Wall Street pushes higher in bid to extend rally

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ ortype LIVE/ in an Eikon news window.)

* Another choppy session to end wild trading week

* Tesla shares jump after co adds Ellison to board

* Wall St set to snap three straight weeks of losses

* Dow up 0.6 pct, S&P 500 up 0.74 pct, Nasdaq up 0.85 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Lewis Krauskopf

Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks pushed higher in a choppysession on Friday following a wild week of trading that has seenequities rebound from a prolonged slide.

Major indexes moved in and out of positive territory duringthe day, action that was emblematic of recent volatility thoughlacking the huge swings of the past week.

Thursday's trading was marked by a stunning reversal late inthe session to build on a rally that started on Wednesday withthe biggest single-day percentage gains for the indexes innearly a decade.

The week started off with Wall Street's worst-ever ChristmasEve drop, pushing the S&P 500 to within a whisker of bear marketterritory. "The primary driver of today's action continues to be thisidea that markets were oversold," said Michael Arone, chiefinvestment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

"The market does seem to be forming a tradeable bottom,"Arone said. "In the last few days and even including today, youare seeing investors come in and starting to look for somebargains."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 137.97 points,or 0.6 percent, to 23,276.79, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 18.35points, or 0.74 percent, to 2,507.18 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 56.19 points, or 0.85 percent, to 6,635.68.

The S&P 500 was coming off its biggest two-day percentagegain since late August 2015 when the market was in the midst ofa downturn over a slowing China. The benchmark index was set topost a weekly gain for the first time this month.

Even so, the S&P 500 was on track to drop more than 9percent in December, its biggest monthly percentage declinesince February 2009, during the throes of the financial crisis.

Concerns about trade tensions between the United States andChina, instability in Washington as underscored by the federalgovernment shutdown, and slowing U.S. corporate profit growthcontinue to worry investors heading into 2019.

But the recent slide in stocks means valuations are morereasonable, while some market watchers said this week that WallStreet was becoming more confident about the Federal Reserve'sapproach to interest rate policy and monetary tightening.

"Investors are beginning to price in the fact that theybelieve the Fed will raise rates at a much slower pace in 2019,"Arone said.

The rebound in stocks this week comes as investors may berotating into equities from bonds. U.S. fund investors added$5.2 billion to equity funds in the first net positive flows forsuch funds this month, while bonds funds saw $8.3 billion inoutflows, according to Lipper data for the latest weekly period.

Contracts to buy previously owned homes fell unexpectedly inNovember, the National Association of Realtors said, the latestsign of weakness in the U.S. housing market.

In corporate news, Tesla IncTSLA.O shares jumped 5.8percent after the electric carmaker named Oracle CorpORCL.N co-founder Larry Ellison to its board, in response to a demandby U.S. regulators for independent oversight of companymanagement.

Dell Technologies IncDELL.N returned to public markets,nearly six years after the company's founder and chiefexecutive, Michael Dell, took it private.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a2.61-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 2.73-to-1 ratio favoredadvancers.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and no new lows; theNasdaq Composite recorded five new highs and 71 new lows. (Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York, MedhaSingh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and SteveOrlofssky) ((; 646-223-6082; ReutersMessaging:,Twitter: @LKrauskopf))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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